Finally, big-name economists are saying the 'R' word. Recession, that is. In fact, after months of wondering "whether", we now seem to be asking "for how long"? I was surprised to learn that my own state, Oregon, is one of 27 now considered to actually be in recession (there are 14 more 'at risk'). Perhaps because I work in public education, I've not witnessed much in the way of layoffs, and therefore, I thought Oregon was doing relatively well (as compared to, say, California).
So, now what? I suppose we go back to our tips on 'how to survive a recession'. Basically, paying down debt and not adding any additional debt is key. But there seem to be others who are taking a rather extreme view of the current economic environment. For example, in this article about a certain Seattle-ite named Atash Hagmahani (which actually is a pseudonym), who is buying nonperishable food in bulk, and generally preparing for an economic emergency he terms the "Greater Depression".
According to the author of the article, there is a small but potentially growing number of Americans who are heading into survivalist mode, what Jim Rawles calls a desire to "secure basic emergency resources that he terms “beans, bullets and Band-Aids.” And I thought I worried too much!
Now, I personally take a more moderate approach to our difficult economic times. As you know, I'm slowly paying down my credit card debt, and will begin increasing my savings by the end of the year. I don't really believe we need to be hunkered down in our houses with a year's supply of rice and beans. However, the article did contain one paragraph that illustrated the benefit that can come of recession, which is quoted here:
"In the last three or four years, Atash Hagmahani has led his clan away from what he calls their former “yuppyish lifestyle.” They no longer eat out, cook most meals from scratch, and rarely drive their one car. They also are all learning practical skills — such as sewing, nursing and wielding a gun for self-defense."Now, if the current recession means that people are spending less on needless luxury items, saving more, and learning to make do with what they have, I'm all for it. We've lived far too long on credit, and while it will take time for our economy to move from dependence on how much we spend at the mall to other sources of growth (alternative energy, anyone?) we as individuals and as members of our communities can start making important, wallet-enhancing changes at a grass roots level.